Staff editorial: Support WU sports

Whether on Instagram or Snapchat, one particular activity is hard to miss: Your friends from back home partaking in one of college’s longest traditions, the Saturday tailgate and football game. You, meanwhile, react one of two ways: living vicariously through the social media stories, lamenting your FOMO playing out in real-time; or not giving it a second thought, because you don’t enjoy football or sports much at all.

If you fall into the second category, it can be difficult to reconcile your apathy for ball games with a call to support them. But consider: College sports, especially at a Division III institution like Washington University, are about much more than the sports themselves. Do you think all your friends posing in jerseys and face paint on Instagram are actually huge football fans? Probably not.

Attending a collegiate athletic event, then, is as much about community and a sense of belonging as it is about cheering for first downs. That’s uniquely true at Washington University, where by nature of size, we share a far more intimate setting than that of a 100,000-seat stadium. And the people we cheer for are far more personal than those playing on national TV. It’s very likely that someone in your friend group, dorm or classes is also a Wash. U. athlete.

For those that think Wash. U. is not competitive: You’re wrong. Don’t bother wishing you were at Rutgers University watching weekly embarrassments. The Bears, all 19 groupings of them, are among the best in the nation, regularly competing for championships.

Ten teams are in action this weekend; eight are ranked in the top 11 in their respective sports. Our favorite? Go watch women’s soccer, which won a national championship two years ago and is unbelievably dominant this year: 28 goals scored, one allowed. Get to Francis Field—outfitted with a brand-new video scoreboard almost unheard of in Division III—an hour and a half earlier to see the men’s team take on rival No. 7 Emory University.

Maybe you prefer to take advantage of the men’s tennis team’s only home tournament of autumn. Or maybe you really need that whiff of Division I, so head to the Millstone Pool as swimming and diving hosts for the only time this fall. Perhaps you lean conventional with football, which set the Wash. U. attendance record of 2,903 in its home opener.

Whatever your preference, burst out of the internal academic bubble—take an hour or two to soak in your school more fully.